The Difference Between Online Content And Broadcast Content

from the ain't-the-same-thing dept

Major League Baseball made news last year for claiming to own all in-progress game data – saying they were going to go after websites that reported what was happening at a game in real-time. It didn’t matter that the law is pretty clear that you can’t copyright facts – MLB believes that just presenting the data is a “rebroadcast” of the game. That said, I guess it’s no surprise to hear that they now believe that web audio and video broadcasts of games should work the same way as television broadcasts with a content provider paying a huge upfront fee for the rights to the games, and then telling them they can make it back in ad revenue and subscription fees. Of course, the various internet sites they’ve approached with this plan have been laughing them out the door, and pointing out that they’re not television stations, and they just want to provide something useful to their users – but aren’t going to lose money to do so. While MLB has been at the forefront of offering streaming video and audio, it appears they still look on this as a broadcast medium, and not the interactive medium it actually is. They’re doing their best to squeeze more money out of existing fans, rather than attract new fans, which is dangerous for the future of the sport. Not only do you anger your biggest fans, you also make it less likely that you’re going to pick up new fans.

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